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Imani
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Joined: 26 Apr 2008
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Location: Bradford

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The RCA Records CEO and chairman Peter Edge was studying at Coventry Polytechnic in the early ‘80s – DJ’ing on local radio and in nightclubs in his spare time – when he struck up a friendship with Jerry Dammers from The Specials (and, later, The Special AKA).

As a result, A&R maven Edge’s earliest exposure to the music-making side of the business was a front-row seat for one of the most creatively daring periods of one of the great British groups. (Ghost Town, released in 1981, remains one of the UK’s most bizarre, harrowing and brilliant No.1 records ever.)

Excerpt from an interview published on July 9, 2019.

YOU SPENT YOUR FORMATIVE YEARS IN COVENTRY, AS A FRIEND OF JERRY DAMMERS. WHAT DID THAT PERIOD TEACH YOU THAT YOU STILL FIND USEFUL TODAY?

It’s actually connected to what we’re talking about in regards to RCA today. I was in art school and college in Coventry. Jerry was a little older than me but we definitely spent a lot of time as friends, hanging out at the time. He truly believed in artistry. I was always amazed by the lengths he would go to to make sure something really ‘spoke’ to the listener. Artistically, he was on a really high level. When he really took it to that [next level] he could do something transformative; something really incredible. Ghost Town is perhaps the best example of that – one of the all-time great records in my humble opinion.

It was the same thing with Free Nelson Mandela [by The Special AKA]. We had both moved to London at that point, and my flat was right next to the studio where he was making that track in North London. I heard many iterations of that song; he just kept perfecting it and perfecting it and perfecting it. And in the end, again, he delivered a piece of genius.

Read it in full at the link below. And if you'd like to read it again before I delete this on a whim, do take down the details.

Only joking. Wink

https://www.musicbusinessworldwide.com/peter-edge-rca-i-marry-business-to-my-passion-for-music-not-the-other-way-round/
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Sat Jul 27, 2019 2:43 pm
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marigold
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Joined: 16 May 2010
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Location: washington. d. c.

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Great article, thanks Imani and wonderful compliments to Jerry Dammers talents from Peter Edge.

I don't know how they navigate the business end of music - the musicians and creative ones.....

This article was very up beat and positive - by contrast I am always reminded of these lyrics. "Free Man In Paris"

"And no one's future to decide
You know I'd go back there tomorrow
But for the work I've taken on
Stoking the star-maker machinery
Behind the popular song"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQj6h8KpkiQ
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Tue Jul 30, 2019 6:32 pm
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Imani
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Joined: 26 Apr 2008
Posts: 1693
Location: Bradford

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Yep, nice words from Peter Edge...the interview is worth reading in its entirety.

I was chatting with a friend yesterday about how there can be a conflict between musicians wanting to be creative or deeper, and having to balance it with the commercial demands for more of the same, or for the familiar.

Bob Marley seemed to understand that it was the commercial sounding singles he put out that brought the audience to hear his albums and the other more political songs. Ghost Town is interesting because it wasn't obviously commercial and yet it topped the charts. So despite their internal problems, The Specials were in a unique position.

I liked that Joni Mitchell song, written about David Geffen I think.
PostPosted:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 11:16 am
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marigold
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Joined: 16 May 2010
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Location: washington. d. c.

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- that's funny I was just now searching out The American Masters David Geffen programme -
- you are on the money Imani!

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/david-geffen-film-outtake-free-man-in-paris-interpreted/2356/
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Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:09 pm
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